Aranesp (darbepoetin) is an erythropoiesis regulating hormone made up of a protein produced in ovary cells using recombinant DNA technology. It is used in treatment of anemia caused by either chronic renal failure (CRF) or by chemotherapy in cancer patients. Note: Ontario Drug Benefit only covers chemotherapy-induced anemia. Patients with uncontrolled hypertension should not receive Aranesp. Aranesp may increase risk of thrombotic vascular events which can be fatal. Use with caution in patients with history of seizures. Seizures have occurred during Aranesp treatment among these patients. It is not known if seizures are caused by rise in blood pressure or hemoglobin. Long-term treatment may lead to Pure Red Cell Aplasia (PRCA), especially in CRF patients. Hemoglobin level must not be allowed to rise beyond 120g/L. Iron supplement is recommended for patients whose ferritin level is below 100. Aranesp is administered either IV or SC as a single injection administered weekly or once every two weeks. The dose should be started and slowly adjusted. The recommended starting dose of Aranesp for the correction of anemia in CRF patients is 0.45 µg/kg body weight, administered as a single IV or SC injection once weekly. Aranesp dosage should be adjusted to maintain a target hemoglobin not to exceed 120 g/L. Aranesp comes in single-dose prefilled syringes and single-dose vials. Prefilled syringes come in strengths 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 130, 150, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500 µg. Store at 2 to 8°C. Do not freeze or shake. Protect from light.